R-22 is a refrigerant most commonly known as Freon. R-22 is still used in our existing air conditioners and refrigeration equipment, however the refrigerant is not environmentally friendly; R-22 contributes to climate change by depleting the Earth’s protective ozone layer. Damage to the ozone layer allows ultraviolet sunlight to reach the Earth’ surface, heating the planet and harming our skin.
In the United States, ozone-depleting substances (ODS) are classified as class I or Class II controlled substances, and regulated through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). All ODSs have a higher ozone depletion potential and have either already been completely phased out in the U.S. or will be by 2020. This means no one can produce or import them. Class II substances are hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) which were used as transitional substances, however they will be fully phased out by 2020.
R-22 is the most common HCFC still in use today – it’s likely that your air refrigeration system contains R-22 refrigerant. Leading up to the January 2020 deadline, owners of this equipment will either have to switch to alternative refrigerants or face steep increase in costs until R-22 is no longer available.
Systems installed within the last 4-5 years should be free of R-22, however systems that are 10 years or older most likely have it. Because air refrigeration systems only last 8-10 years anyway, we encourage anybody with older systems to upgrade to those that do not use R-22.
This article can help answer some common questions about your system. Let us help you plan before 2020 arrives! Call BelRed Energy Solutions for information, repair, replacement, and alternative options today.